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New Community Centres for Elderly in North Yorkshire


2:14pm 28th January 2013

A new network of community centres to provide support for elderly and vulnerable people is being set up across North Yorkshire.

Funded by North Yorkshire County Council and set up by Rural Action Yorkshire, the seven “community hubs” will offer preventative social care and early intervention, as well as activities such as luncheon clubs, gardening clubs, film groups, cafes, and good neighbour schemes.

Six groups of volunteers have already stepped forward and offered to run the hubs in their localities.

“This is a tremendous example of communities working together and making a real difference to people’s lives,” said County Councillor Clare Wood, Executive Member for Health and Adult Services.

“A lot has been said about the Big Society … this is a practical example of how it can work in reality, and benefit people in a practical and meaningful way.”

One hub is being developed in the village hall at Cold Kirkby, near Helmsley.

“The hall holds the potential to offer more, to more people, than at present,” said one of the trustees, Becky McMurray.

“Our surrounding area lacks social meeting places and opportunities – the village has a church service once a month, no shops or visit services, and the nearest inn is a couple of miles away.  There is an increasing elderly population, for whom isolation ie bcoming a reality.”

The community hubs will be run by volunteers supported by a development officer from Rural Action Yorkshire.

“In recent years we have seen big changes in the management of community buildings,” said Leah Swain, Rural Action Yorkshire’s Chief Officer.

“There are some really forward-thinking people out there who have been able to come up with great ideas which will make a big difference to people in rural areas.”

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